I recently participated in a conference on Global Transformation with 900 people from around the world. We were asked “What is our commitment to the world?” And we were asked to be in an inquiry about our commitments.
They said: “Inquiry begins in wonder. In this space, with meaning suspended, we are free to look, explore and ponder.”
So, I started wondering and pondering about what my commitment to the world is and my first reaction was “nothing.”
I came up empty.
And the weird thing is that when you start an inquiry like this, at least for me, is that I began seeing all the things that I’m not committed to.
For example, I was watching the women’s World Cup Soccer Championships. I watched as these women played hard to the very last second. I watched these women throw their bodies across the goal to prevent the other team from scoring. And I thought: “I would never do that.”
Within a couple days I saw a fabulous movie called Maiden about a young woman who wanted to be part of a sailing crew to compete in a race to sail around the world, but there’d never been a woman in the competition and no crew would take her, despite her superior sailing skills. So, she created an all-woman crew and competed in the race around the world in 1989. In addition to current day interviews with the crew, it showed video footage of the challenges of getting funding, a cohesive, competent crew and the rigors of sailing in temperatures of 20 below zero around Antarctica. At the end of the movie, people applauded and cheered. It was exhilarating and inspiring.
And then I had the opportunity to bring supplies to migrant families in Tijuana hoping to seek asylum in the United States. I met a woman from Honduras who had traveled over 1200 miles, pregnant, to seek a new life and safety for her son. This little one was only 15 days old and his name was “Angel.” Again, she had a commitment to a bigger vision for her son and hope for their lives that she risked the journey to escape the dangers of her homeland. And I wondered: “Would I have the courage and commitment to do that?”
I felt like such a slacker.
I would never have the determination, perseverance or commitment to do any of those things.
And frankly, I couldn’t imagine having that level of commitment for anything…
I noticed that even at an aerobics class when the instructor says: “to the count of EIGHT! 7, 6, 5, 4, 3…” and at that point I’m thinking “ok, I’m done, who cares about 2 and 1? It’s good enough…”
Really? And now I’m being asked about my commitment to the world? And I can’t even finish 2 and 1 in an aerobics class?
I shared all of this with my personal trainer, because she knows me and calls me out when I sneak cheats and take short cuts in my training with her!
And she had a helpful response.
She said: “Those are all examples of physical commitments. I’ve heard your commitment to your clients’ successes and the impact you have when you coach people or speak at conferences or in organizations. I could never do that.”
Throwing my body across their goal
And she was right. I am geeky about making a difference with my clients. I’m willing to personally invest large amounts of money and time to raise the bar on my knowledge, performance and capacity so I can make a difference for my clients. I will invest inordinate amounts of unreimbursed time to ensure the client gets the very last ounce creativity and energy I have to help them succeed. Their success is my success. I’d like to think that “I throw my body across their goal” to make sure they win.
Sure, I’ve worked with clients when we get to “3” and I’m not interested in pushing hard to get to 2 and 1, but they aren’t either… Not that that’s a good excuse, but that’s how it is sometimes. I think the key is knowing that you can look in the mirror and say: “This is the best I can give. And the client got all they wanted and/or needed.”
While I am still in the inquiry of defining my commitment to the world, this is what you can count on:
“I am committed that people and organizations thrive with accountability, integrity and JOY!”
When we live our lives and work in organizations that are filled with accountability and integrity, joy will be present. People will be contributing their skills and abilities to make a difference, which brings joy! When organizations operate in integrity and are accountable to employees, customers, their communities and shareholders, they make the world a better place.
So, I ask you this:
What is your commitment to the world?
I believe we all want to make a difference.
How do you want to make a difference? What are you wondering or pondering?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Click here to share your thoughts and see how others want to make a difference too.
Let’s learn from and support each other in making a difference in the world.
Marty Stanley, CSP, is a national speaker, coach and consultant on personal and organizational change. www.alteringoutcomes.com firstname.lastname@example.org 816-695-5453 or 858-432-6764 https://www.linkedin.com/in/martystanley